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Empowering the Future: Amplifying Student Voice and Strategies for Inclusive Social Studies Classrooms

29 Nov, 2023

Increasing student voice in the classroom poses a challenge for educators, prompting us to explore effective strategies to amplify and foster active student participation.

In a thought-provoking article by Shane Safir featured on the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) website, titled "Cultivating a Pedagogy of Student Voice," Safir explains, "A pedagogy of voice orients us to create learning experiences that foster connection, cognitive growth, and student agency..." Safir further emphasizes, "...we can view teachers as facilitators of learning who can connect their students to knowledge keepers in the community while simultaneously viewing students as knowledge builders."

How can educators cultivate a pedagogy of student voice?

One way to cultivate a pedagogy of student voice and transition the classroom to student-centered learning is through a strategic use of technology — the opportunity for students to share ideas and background understanding via device-enabled posting prior to traditional classroom dialog.

Strategic Use of Technology: Empowering Teachers as Facilitators

By providing students with the opportunity to share ideas and background understanding via device-enabled platforms prior to traditional classroom discussion, educators can tap into the insights of every student, fostering a more inclusive and diverse learning environment. This approach transforms teachers into facilitators and students into active contributors, creating a collaborative knowledge-building experience.

Strategic Use of Technology: Empowering Students as Knowledge Builders

Enabling students to share their thoughts digitally prior to in-person discussions has profound advantages. Unlike traditional polling methods that may capture only a limited perspective, this technology-driven approach ensures that every student's voice is heard. The ensuing classroom dialogues become more enriched, reflecting a broad spectrum of perspectives, experiences, and insights. As students actively contribute to one another's knowledge base, teachers assume the role of guiding and facilitating this collective learning journey.

Strategic Use of Technology: Amplifying Student Voice in Social Studies

The National Council on Social Studies (NCSS) emphasizes the importance of student voice for increasing passion and achievement. Exploros will be modeling instructional approaches that increase voice and ownership at our SOCIAL Social Studies booth at the NCSS Conference in Nashville, December 1 - December 3. If you or a colleague will be attending, please visit us at booth 308.

Empowering the Future: Amplifying Student Voice and Strategies for Inclusive Social Studies Classrooms

In the pursuit of educational excellence, amplifying student voice is not just a goal but a transformative journey. By embracing technology as a catalyst for increased student agency, educators can create dynamic learning environments where every student's voice is valued. As the National Council on Social Studies advocates, empowering students in this way not only enhances passion for learning but also contributes to higher levels of academic achievement. As we navigate the evolving landscape of education, let us collectively embark on a path that places students at the center, recognizing them as active builders and contributors to the tapestry of knowledge.

“Embracing a pedagogy of voice means breaking with long-dominant conventions in education—but educators can start by making basic changes in perspective and approach.” – Shane Safir

Discover a fresh perspective on Social Studies instruction — experience Exploros for free and see for yourself how it can simplify the transition to student-centered learning and foster student agency and voice.

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